With school having started for all of my kids a month ago, it's now back to regular programming as far as my schedule is concerned. I was looking forward all summer to when school starts, but now that it has, I find myself actually missing their noisy squabbles, the peals of laughter from harmless teasings, the seemingly endless "mom, I'm hungry!."
I must admit that the house is now boring in its stillness. There are moments in the morning when the silence seem to shout at me, and my first instinct is to look for my two younger ones; suspicious that they are again in cahoots. They have formed in my mind a long-running history correlating their suspicious silence with mischief and mayhem: cutting a siblings hair haphazardly just for the fun of it; hanging themselves from the window blinds, and putting a small hole in the ceiling because of it; rough-playing inside the closet, and breaking the closet rod... there are so many others that cause me to force myself to a spiritual break, less I say something hurtful.
A spiritual break is similar to the "time-outs" we give our kids when they were toddlers whenever they disobeyed; the difference is, with a spiritual break, the time-out is being enforced on the one actually doing the disciplining. I purse my lips and say a short prayer for the Holy Spirit to control what comes out of my mouth. I need to physically close my lips this way, otherwise I let out a slew of words that are hurtful to my kids' feelings. There are times when I am not as spirit-filled, and all I can manage is to count from 1-10. But even so, it really helps control the damaging words which comes out of my mouth in anger.
Now that I am back to my role of being a tutor-mom, taking a spiritual break is needed more than ever. Surely, anyone who has ever tutored their own kids will agree with me that it is one endeavor where patience is most needed. I consider myself lucky that my two girls can already manage on their own, and so it is with my li'l man that I empty my daily balance of patience.
I turn to Ephesians 4:29 "You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear." Yes, and so it is with this verse that our tutor time starts, so I may be spirit-filled to act with more kindness and patience than what I feel.
Most parents know it is hard to practice what we preach. There are definitely some trying moments. But I crack up sometimes in spite of it, most especially when the things I say get thrown back at me - with their kiddie logic along with it. I've had my li'l man say this to me: "Please be patient with me, God is not finished with YOU yet!" Toink! Hahaha!